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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Does Lemon Water Help You Lose Weight? Squeeze the Truth

Does Lemon Water Help You Lose Weight? Squeeze the Truth

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
Last update: November 3, 2023
5 min read 480 Views 0 Comments
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Squeeze the truth: the real impact of lemon water on your diet

does lemon water help you to lose weight

Lemon water is a popular low-caloric beverage made by mixing fresh lemon juice in plain water. Adding this beverage to your daily routine can be a good way to improve your diet because of its potential health benefits.

But can drinking lemon water help you with weight loss? What does the science say about it? We’re here to answer these questions and assist you in deciding whether drinking lemon water can contribute to shedding body weight.

Is Lemon Water Helpful for Weight Loss?

The blend of lemon juice and water lacks specific nutrients that directly carry out fat burning in the body. Therefore, drinking lemon water doesn’t offer any direct weight loss benefits.

However, the beverage can indirectly help you lose weight due to its positive effect on metabolism, hydration, and satiety.

Relying solely on lemon water isn’t a comprehensive strategy for weight reduction. To achieve optimal results, it’s recommended to integrate regular exercise into your routine and make dietary adjustments, with a focus on incorporating weight loss foods.

Tip: If crafting a personalized weight loss diet plan seems challenging, you can consider using a weight loss app for a convenient and effective approach.

What Makes Lemon Water Good for Weight Loss?

There’s been a lot of buzz about lemon water’s powerful properties, like being a fat-burning miracle, especially for that stubborn belly fat. However, it’s important to set expectations right from the start, as the amounts you drink with lemon water are unlikely to have any effect on your weight.

While not a weight loss solution, lemon water is still a great drink due to its refreshing taste and potential health benefits. Let’s discuss what makes lemon water a good addition to your routine.

#1 It keeps you hydrated

Our bodies thrive on adequate hydration, and water plays a vital role in various physiological functions. Comprising 50–60% of our bodies, water aids in nutrient absorption, digestion, joint lubrication, and body temperature regulation.

If you fail to consume the recommended daily amount of water, you can become dehydrated. While dehydration itself doesn’t lead to fat gain, it can cause water retention, making you feel bloated and temporarily contributing to weight gain. Moreover, being inadequately hydrated can reduce your energy levels, possibly leading to decreased physical activity, which over time can contribute to weight gain.

Important note: According to research, improved hydration might enhance fat breakdown in the body and contribute to weight loss. So, drinking water mixed with lemon juice can be helpful for your weight loss journey.

#2 It’s low in calories

Restricting your calorie intake is one of the best ways to lose weight fast. While lemon water does contain a modest number of calories, it makes for an excellent alternative to most sugary soft drinks.

For example, a glass of water infused with the juice of half a lemon amounts to roughly 5–6 calories, while a typical 12oz soda packs around 150 calories or even more.

Therefore, making the switch from juice or soda to lemon water can make a notable difference in your daily calorie consumption and promote weight loss.

#3 It may help you eat less

When it comes to managing weight, it’s vital to be extra mindful of your appetite.

Drinking lemon water before meals may contribute to a sense of fullness, which in turn could prevent weight gain and may also help you shed some pounds.

Research on the effects of regularly drinking water before meals suggests that it can make you eat less, leading to reduced calorie intake, and support weight loss. While specific studies on lemon water are limited, the principle remains – hydration before meals may help control appetite.

#4 It may boost metabolism

Staying adequately hydrated is beneficial for the body in multiple ways, and among these benefits is a potential boost in metabolism. Drinking water, as indicated by research, induces thermogenesis, which is a metabolic process that burns calories to generate heat.

The research states that drinking around 17oz of water can increase metabolic rate by 30% within just 10 minutes, reaching its peak after 30–40 minutes.

It’s important to note that 40% of this thermogenic effect originates from the warming of the water (from 71.6–98.6ºF). This insight suggests that consuming warm lemon water is likely to be more effective in boosting your metabolism.

#5 It’s a source of vitamin C

Drinking lemon juice can increase your daily intake of vitamin C, a beneficial nutrient that can also promote weight loss. A study suggests that individuals with adequate levels of vitamin C burn 30% more fat during high-intensity exercises compared to those with insufficient amounts.

In terms of daily intake, the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for vitamin C is 90mg for men and 75mg for women aged 19 years and older. And 100g of raw lemon juice contains 38.7mg of vitamin C, which means it can be a valuable contributor to meeting your daily vitamin C needs.

Other than that, vitamin C may also offer other health benefits, such as boosting the immune system, improving wound healing, and promoting healthy skin.

#6 It may help absorb iron better

Thanks to the vitamin C found in lemons, consuming lemon water alongside iron-rich foods could enhance the absorption of iron from your meals.

Studies show that there’s a link between obesity and iron deficiency because of increased serum hepcidin levels in the body, which reduce intestinal iron absorption.

So, incorporating lemon water into your routine may offer a simple yet effective approach to optimize iron absorption, which can prevent weight gain.

Is It Better Than Plain Water? Not Necessarily

While lemon water offers certain benefits, it’s important to note that the primary source of these advantages is none other than water itself. Diluted lemon juice, though a healthy addition, is unlikely to bring significant improvements to your overall health.

That said, it still stands out as a great substitute for less healthy beverage choices. Therefore, adding lemon water to your collection of weight-loss-friendly drinks, like green smoothies, can make your wellness journey more diverse and enjoyable.

Is Drinking Too Much Lemon Water Dangerous?

Drinking too much lemon water isn’t dangerous, but prolonged consumption can lead to some drawbacks. It can negatively affect your dental hygiene, leading to tooth enamel erosion and sensitivity.

Citrus fruits, including lemons, may worsen heartburn or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), so it’s advisable to steer clear if you experience heartburn.

For those concerned about tooth enamel, diluting lemon water by using less lemon juice or drinking through a straw can help minimize potential damage.

A Word from MD

Expert image border HR_author_photo_Edna
Edna Skopljak, MD
Medical advisor for Health Reporter

Lemon water, a simple concoction of fresh lemon juice and water, is often linked to weight loss. Many even start their day with a warm glass, believing it’ll help them shed some pounds.

As a medical professional, I can tell you that it doesn’t offer any direct weight loss benefits. It’s a low-calorie alternative to most sugary soft drinks, making it a healthy addition to hydration routines.

Additionally, it’s rich in vitamin C and can also boost your metabolism and keep you full for longer – factors that can collectively support your weight loss journey.

To maximize benefits, I recommend you use warm water, opt for fresh lemons, personalize the mix (of course, without sugar), and experiment with consumption before meals for potential appetite control.

However, individuals with heartburn or sensitive teeth should be cautious, as the acidity in lemon water may worsen these issues. In such a case, I advise you to consult with your healthcare provider before adding this beverage to your daily routine.


Does lemon water burn belly fat?

While beneficial for overall health, lemon water doesn’t possess the ability to burn belly fat. Fat loss requires a combination of a balanced diet and regular exercise.

When should I drink lemon water for weight loss?

Choosing lemon water as an alternative to sugary drinks like sodas or fruit juices is a smart move for weight management. Enjoy it whenever you’re tempted by those less-healthy options.


While lemon water is not a magic solution for weight loss, it remains a refreshing and hydrating beverage that many find enjoyable. So, it’s not a bad idea to incorporate it into your routine, especially by eliminating soft drinks.

It can offer multiple health benefits, including boosting your metabolism, making you eat less, and keeping you hydrated. However, achieving sustainable and effective weight management involves a combination of various factors, including a balanced diet and regular physical activity.Along with following a healthy lifestyle, you can also add dietary supplements to your routine to aid your weight loss journey.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Edna Skopljak, MD
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